M Q2 Essay Example

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Case Study

Improving Business Performance Through Qualitative Research a Case of Pillsbury Cookie Challenge

Performance improvement in a company is a difficult issue, especially for large firms. It requires careful planning as well as calculated decisions which would see the company grow on a particular line. The managers should take caution not to make decisions that would, however, land the company in the even worse state. It is a decision that requires both qualitative and quantitative data analysis in order cater to the needs of the customers. The main aim being satisfying the customers and at the same time increasing the company sales hence better performance (Forker Vickery & Droge1996)

This case study aims at solving the Pillsbury challenge of establishing a strategic plan for improving the performance of the company. Bearing in mind that the refrigerated baked foods section was the biggest section in the company, its performance was key to the company. A strategy was to be in place to help the section improve its performance hence that of the whole firm. It was 62 percent of the volume of sales done by RBG representing over three-quarters of the company profit in that category. This was a point of concern to Guillen as the marketing head of the category.

The research done on the second phase had enough insights to support Guillen’s strategy. The information obtained brought up important
insights that could help Guillen in his strategic plan. The qualitative approach was done to gather information on a behavioral aspect of a customer base. It reflects the right consumer reactions on the research questions, and this was vital to Guillen’s decision-making process.

The first research on the usage and attitude levels was not enough to help make an independent decision. The suggestion by Pasato to conduct a second round of research had various insites which would help Guillen succeed in his mission. First, Pasato’s findings depicted women as having sole ownership of the decisions on feeding the family. They were required to make fast decisions about food especially feeding the children. This could only please the children anytime. This implies that the product would be made better by incorporating children desires and preferences to the plan.

Baking was seen as an experience of happiness to everyone. It was seen as an event that would bring together people to share happy moments and enjoy together. On this regard, Guillen was sure that the sales would be maximized if the moms were put into consideration when it came to baking. If most adverts were done with mom as the main target as well as describe how to make happy the moms, then the performance was deemed to multiply immensely.

A special insight was that cookies were made to show love, share and give for the purposes of better living and coexistence. It was a great event for children to meet and get involved in the baking process as well as eat together with those who were not in a position to buy cookies or bake them. Guillen would use this information to widen the market gap from mothers to other groups in the society and particularly children.

The insight about brand champions had a lot to offer to Guillen regarding product advertisement and sales. These were women and therefore promoting this kind of business to them would mostly yield better fruits. Mothers are always worried about their children and therefore incorporating them in the marketing for the company’s product would a great idea. Pillsbury was considered as a factor which transformed every meal into a great experience. It was a representation of generosity by the mothers who preferred it to ready foods.

Guillen would make insightful decisions based on these research findings. Every consumer is affected in a different way from the other. Making marketing decisions that would work for both the company as well improve the livelihoods of the people in question would require having information on tastes and preferences from them among other views. We can confidently say that the second phase of research which involved majorly qualitative research was good enough to help Guillen in his decision-making process. However, the research done earlier during phase one is also useful in coming up with a strategy that would see the company improve performance tremendously especially in the said department.

Despite my arguments on Guillen’s approach, it is fair enough to note that this kind of challenge requires a keen look at the various units served by this category. Other authors relate company performance to product research and development which involves innovations and inventions on a particular product using other forms of product improvement like product differentiation among others. All these can promote business performance although information on the customer levels of satisfaction is necessary for this issue (Keller, 2001). It is the customers who can comfortably determine the direction a company is going to take to enhance performance through their tastes and preferences which are ever changing with life trends.


Forker, L.B., Vickery, S.K. and Droge, C.L., 1996. The contribution of quality to business performance. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 16(8), pp.44-62.

Keller, K.L., 2001. Building customer-based brand equity: A blueprint for creating strong brands.